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Ludhiana: Cops bust espionage racket working to ‘honey trap’ defence personnel

The racket was cracked after a secret input was received by the police from Air Force Intelligence Unit, Jodhpur.

By: Express News Service | Ludhiana |
September 14, 2021 3:47:37 am
Police have filed an FIR for sedition and other offences against the arrested man.

The Ludhiana city police Monday claimed to have busted an espionage racket with the arrest of one local man, who was allegedly helping a ‘Pakistani Intelligence Operative’ (PIO) in ‘honey trapping’ some Indian Army personnel.

Police said that the arrested man from village Ucchi Daud (near Maloud) of Ludhiana district, was in touch with a Pakistani Intelligence Operative, who introduced herself as Jasleen Brar from Bathinda. He then provided her with some phone numbers using which she allegedly ‘honey trapped’ defence personnel.

Police have filed an FIR for sedition and other offences against the arrested man. The racket was cracked after a secret input was received by the police from Air Force Intelligence Unit, Jodhpur.

“This woman operative was using a WhatsApp number activated through the OTP provided by the arrested accused to honey trap Indian Army personnel. WhatsApp chats have confirmed that the woman managed to contact at least seven defence personnel. Further analysis of WhatsApp chats is being done,” said Ludhiana police in a statement.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Rupinder Kaur Bhatti, Additional DCP (Investigation), said that the 35-year-old arrested man worked at a factory for Rs 12,000 a month.

“As per initial probe, he had a strange fascination with defence services and had also tried to crack some entrance exams but could not succeed. In the past, he himself would create fake social media IDs pretending to be a woman and talk to Army personnel. He was fascinated by this woman too who introduced herself as someone having deep links with the Army. He then gave her three phone numbers which he got registered in his name but gave her OTPs to use WhatsApp using which the Pak woman honey trapped Army personnel,” said Bhatti.

“It has also been confirmed that the PIO has managed to get entry into two WhatsApp groups of defence personnel namely ‘Western CMD mutual posting’ and ‘MES information update’. PIO being member of these groups was monitoring these chats and may cultivate/honey trap new personnel through social engineering,” said Ludhiana police.

The arrested accused also received a sum of Rs 10,000 from PIO in his ICICI bank account via the ‘Phone Pe’ app, revealed police.

“On directions of the PIO, he further transferred this amount to one SBI Bank account which was in Pune, Maharashtra. Also, the audio messages show that PIO was tasking him to go Jaipur Bus stand and receive a CD which is being verified. The man had provided three numbers to the PIO for using WhatsApp. Further investigation in this matter is ongoing,” said Ludhiana police.

An FIR under the Sections 124-A (sedition), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth etc), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and Sections 3,4,5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act — was registered at division number 6 police station on the complaint of BK Bishnoi, IAF wing commander from Jodhpur.

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